Recognizing the Signs of Abuse and Addiction

At Eden, we have seen time and time again how drug and alcohol abuse not only affects the addict, but how it rips families apart and breaks down communities. Drug abuse affects people from all walks of life and all socioeconomic statuses. Whatever the reason a person starts taking drugs, tolerance and dependency can develop quickly, before the user even realizes the pattern of addiction taking hold. When tolerance becomes full-blown addiction, it can be extremely difficult to stop the pattern of abuse.

Breaking free from the hold of addiction often requires outside help and that’s where Eden steps in. When you realize that you or someone you love may have a problem, it’s essential to get help right away. If you or someone you know needs treatment for drug abuse, we can help.

So how can you tell if a loved one is on drugs?

In order to recognize the signs of abuse and addiction – you will need to look out for physical or behavioral symptoms that will most likely include:

Physical Symptoms

Some of the most noticeable symptoms of drug abuse are those that affect the body’s inner workings. For example, your body’s tolerance to a drug occurs when a drug is abused for long enough that increased quantities or strengths are required to achieve the previous effects. This desire for a more intense high, achieved through these means, is extremely dangerous and can easily lead to overdose.

The diminishing effects set in after the first time, and the user constantly tries to replicate the first high he or she gets from the drug by taking increasing amounts. This is extremely dangerous and can quickly lead to overdose.

Changes in appearance can be additional clues to possible drug use and may include:

  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes.
  • Dilated or constricted pupils.
  • Abrupt weight changes.
  • Bruises, infections, or other physical signs at the drug’s entrance site on the body.

Disruption to normal brain functioning, changes in personality, and heart and organ dysfunction can be signs of long-term drug abuse. Signs will vary based on the substance. Click on any drug above to learn more.

Behavioral Symptoms

Drug abuse negatively affects a person’s behavior and habits as he or she becomes more dependent on the drug. The drug itself can alter the brain’s ability to focus and form coherent thoughts, depending on the substance.

Changes in behavior, such as the following, can indicate a problem with drug abuse:

  • Increased aggression or irritability.
  • Changes in attitude/personality.
  • Sudden changes in a social network.
  • Dramatic changes in habits and/or priorities.
  • Financial problems.
  • Involvement in criminal activity.

Learning to recognize the physical or behavioral signs of drug abuse can help prevent the problem from progressing further. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.

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5 Reasons Why We Experience Drinker’s Guilt

Did I say something stupid? Did I behave like an idiot? Did I offend anyone? Did I ruin my image? Is everyone mad at me? These are the kinds of thoughts that plague people who suffer from drinker’s guilt. Some people can wake up after a night of debauchery and drink some coffee, eat some bacon and move on with their day. Other people pay for the night before, so intensely that they promise themselves never to drink again, every time. Why do some of us wake up with a moral hangover even when we didn’t do anything to deserve it? These are five reasons you suffer from hangxiety:

  1. You’ve “Let Yourself Down”

While cutting back on drinking might not have been a forefront plan, knowing that you drank a lot means that you willingly crossed a line the night before, forfeiting the following day. Basically, you’re mad at last night’s self for putting this morning’s self in trouble.

  1. You’ve Jeopardized Your Health

The second you wake up in the morning and feel that soreness behind your eyes, the dryness in your mouth, the slosh of acid in your stomach and the ache in your joints, you know you’re hungover. Once you’ve made that assessment, you immediately become disappointed with yourself for not taking better care of yourself.

  1. You’ve Had Too Much To Drink

The more you drink, the worse you feel. That’s science. Sometimes the anxiety you feel in the morning is an added alert you’re giving yourself to let yourself know that you’re drinking too much. The anxiety acts as a self service almost, wedging its way between you and your drinking habits. It tries to deter you from drinking away your hangover from last night. The anxiety tries to steer you onto a different path.

  1. Dehydration Makes You Anxious

Alcohol reduces the amount of “anti-diruectic” hormones in your body, meaning it lets your body rid itself of much more water than it does when you’re sober. Your bathroom breaks are leaving you dehydrated. The effects of dehydration in the body lead to more than thirstiness and headaches — it can also lead to faintness, dizziness and confusion.

  1. You’re Drinking The Wrong Drinks

Drinks with higher congener content like bourbon, scotch, dark beers and red wines will leave you with stronger hangovers. The high sugar content on top of the dehydrating effects of alcohol are going to seriously mess with your blood sugar, which will only add to the amount of panic and cloudiness you will experience in the morning. So if you want to drink but you don’t want to deal with the morning freak out, drink light, low-sugar drinks, punctuated by lots of replenishing water, and try not to overdo it.

If you are worried about the amount you are drinking or for information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.

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Krokodil Drug – The Same high as heroin. Only cheaper

Krokodil could possibly be the worst drug in the world. Worse than cocaine, worse than heroin, worse than meth, worse than acid. According to Eden Recovery Centre, the drug is named after crocodiles because of the scaly appearance gangrenous skin takes on. It even makes crack look appealing, and that’s insane.

Krokodil’s origins are amongst Russia’s poorest communities where it arose as a cheap alternative to heroin. The substance can be concocted by crushing codeine tablets, which are widely available, and mixing them with substances like petrol, red phosphorous and hydrochloric acid.

Sound dangerous? Doctors estimate that from the point an addict first takes krokodil, their life expectancy is a little over two years.

According to people who have taken it, the drug has approximately the same effects, the same high, as heroin, but for as little as a tenth of the price of the real thing. Eden Recovery explains why this is such a terribly worrying concern for parents of the youth of SA.

The street price of heroin in South Africa is around R50 a gram which isn’t that expensive, but the costs can add up as addicts require stronger and more frequent doses, says Eden Recovery.

In Russia’s factory towns, a raging heroin habit can decimate a person’s funds, hence increasing numbers turning to Krokodil.

South Africa has a huge amount of low-income heroin addicts, making the rise of Krokodil almost inevitable. While the high might be good, the side effects are anything but. The drug literally rots human from the inside out, and in serious users it isn’t uncommon to see large expanses of exposed bone and muscle.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction and would like us to guide you on treatment programmes available, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre at or contact +27 11 244 9916. Our qualified staff are trained to assist you in taking the first steps to breaking free from addiction. You can depend on full discretion.

The Effects of Drug Abuse on Fertility

It’s no secret that substance abuse can be damaging to your health, but one of the ways that an addiction to a drug or alcohol can be most harmful is in hindering your ability to become a parent. At Eden Recovery Centre, we describe how cigarettes, heroin, alcohol and marijuana can have an impact on reproductive health – as proven by research.

How Tobacco affects fertility.

Besides harming almost every organ in the body, smoking can have disastrous consequences for fertility says Eden Recovery Centre. In one study published in the journal Human Reproduction, women who smoked and were trying to get pregnant were 42% more likely to experience a delay in conception of more than one year compared with non-smoking women; in fact, the smokers had double the risk of infertility problems of non-smokers in the study.

How Marijuana affects fertility

Although it’s often seen as a relatively harmless drug, marijuana can have a profound effect on reproductive health, especially in men. In a study of almost 2,000 British guys, researchers found that those 30 and younger who reported smoking marijuana at least once in the past three months were almost twice as likely to have sperm whose shape and size was abnormal. Study author Allan Pacey of the University of Sheffield suggested that “cannabis users might be advised to stop using the drug if they are planning to try and start a family.”

How alcohol affects fertility

While having an occasional drink likely won’t lower your odds of getting pregnant explains Eden Recovery Centre, it’s a different story if you’re drinking a lot. In a Fertility and Sterility study, researchers compared sperm quality in moderate drinkers with that of 66 alcoholic men who drank about six ounces or more of alcohol daily, or nearly so. The researchers detected abnormalities in the alcoholics’ reproductive hormones and found that their sperm count and motility (how well the sperm could move through the female reproductive tract) were significantly lower compared with the non-alcoholic control group.

How Heroin and Cocaine affects fertility

When it comes to hard drugs like heroin and cocaine and their impact on fertility, the prognosis is, unsurprisingly, pretty grim says Eden Recovery Centre. Men who use heroin, for example, may experience sexual dysfunction that lasts even after they quit, suggests a study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology. Heroin affects the quality, and especially the motility of sperm, according to a study of 80 heroin-addicted men.

The potential effects of cocaine on fertility have mostly been evaluated in animal trials. In one study of female monkeys researchers found that cocaine impaired ovulation and ovarian function. Similarly, a study in male rats showed that cocaine affected the development of the animals’ sperm cells.

If you are worried about how your drug addiction could be affecting you chances of becoming a parent, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre’s for treatment programmes and advice.  You can depend of full discretion.

Alcohol Poisoning Facts

Getting to the bottom of alcohol poisoning

We’ve all been there. Our first big party. Succumbing to peer pressure.  Overdoing the limit, only to land up with alcohol poisoning. The truth is black coffee won’t help. Nor will making yourself sick or trying to sleep it off.

In fact, these traditional ways of trying to sober up can do far more harm than good. Particularly if you’re experiencing acute alcohol poisoning – which can be difficult to spot initially.

You may have only had a few drinks, or several, but this isn’t always an indicator.

“By recognising the signs of acute alcohol poisoning and knowing what to do, you could save someone’s life or your own.” Says Athy, from Eden Recovery Centre.

What not to do if somebody is suffering from alcohol poisoning:


  • Leave someone to sleep it off. The amount of alcohol in someone’s blood continues to rise even when they’re not drinking.
  • Give them a coffee. Alcohol dehydrates the body. Coffee will make someone who is already dehydrated even more so. Severe dehydration can cause permanent brain damage.
  • Make them sick. Their gag reflex won’t be working properly which means they could choke on their vomit.
  • Walk them around. Alcohol is a depressant which slows down your brain’s functions and affects your sense of balance.
  • Put them under a cold shower. Alcohol lowers your body temperature, which could lead to hypothermia.

There is no minimum amount of alcohol that could cause alcohol poisoning

Five things to do if someone is showing signs of alcohol poisoning:

  1. Try to keep them awake and sitting up.
  2. Give them some water, if they can drink it.
  3. Lie them on their side in the recovery position if they’ve passed out, and check they’re breathing properly.
  4. Keep them warm.
  5. Stay with them and monitor their symptoms.
  6. If they’re not getting any better, don’t delay, dial 999 for an ambulance.

If you know somebody that is battling alcohol abuse or if you are struggling with the addiction yourself, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre for advice on recovery and treatment plans. You can depend on full discretion.

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When and how does drug abuse start and progress?

Studies such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, indicate that some children are already abusing drugs at age 12 or 13, which likely means that some begin even earlier. Early abuse often includes such substances as tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, and prescription drugs such as sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medicines. At Eden Recovery Centre, we have experienced first hand that if abuse persists into later adolescence, abusers typically become more heavily involved with marijuana and then advance to other drugs, while continuing their abuse of tobacco.

So what starts an addiction you ask? AT Eden Recovery Centre we explain to parents that an addiction can start for a variety of reasons. A very common factor is that of peer pressure: young people don’t like to be different from their friends and want to be part of the group.

If that group enjoys drinking or taking drugs then it can very difficult to resist especially if not doing so means that they are excluded from the group.

Experimentation is another reason. Many young people like to dabble in new and sometimes risky activities and drugs/alcohol/smoking are part of that. It is often done out of a sense of curiosity but it is easy to become hooked. Sometimes, teenagers try illicit substances as an act of rebellion or to defy their parents or teachers. They see it as part of being an adult or growing up. Others are attracted by the fact that the more dangerous or illegal a substance is the more desirable it becomes.

Some young people choose to take drugs or drink as a means of escaping a chaotic home life or a deprived background. Teenagers tend to be impulsive and take risks so illegal substances are no different in this aspect.

Children of parents who were or are addicted to drugs are 45 to 79 percent more likely to succumb to drug addiction themselves” Spokesperson of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

If you feel your kids may be falling to the grips of drug addiction, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre for advice and treatment plans. You can depend on full discretion. Or follow us on Facebook / Edenrehabcentre.

Education is the best solution to South Africa’s drug problem

Every year, research shows that more and more young people are not only being exposed to drugs but falling victim to its deadly grasp. No one questions the severity of the drug problem and its devastating impact on youth.

Academic results suffer and, even worse, drugs undermine health and destroy young lives.

At Eden Recovery Centre, we believe that the best solution is to reach young people with effective, fact-based drug education—before they start experimenting with drugs. Tweens, teens and young adults who know the facts about drugs are much less likely to start using them.

Digital is the way of the future and parents should use this to their advantage. There are many online education website that provide full Truth About Drugs Education materials at your fingertips, and contains practical tools to educate young people about substance abuse.

These educational tools can teach you things such as: 1) Various drugs and their effects 2) Signs of drug abuse. 2) Treatment and various facilities such as Eden Recovery Centre 3) Drug facts 4) Friends and drugs as well as videos which you can share with your children.

Education is the most powerful weapon you as a parent have today to prevent your children from making the wrong decisions. Help them choose wisely.

For more information on drug abuse or various treatment plans offered by Eden Rehabilitation Centre, please contact us or follow us on Facebook @EdenRehabCentre. You can always depend on full discretion.

Drinking and Driving. The limit in South Africa

At Eden Recovery Centre we strongly believe that the rule of drinking and driving is simple… don’t do it.

It is a proven fact that your driving is impaired after even one unit of alcohol, so it is safer to not drink at all when you know you will be driving. Driving under the influence is a criminal offence and it only takes one point over the limit to seal your fate – which could mean up to six years in prison.

Drunk driving is currently one of the biggest threats to Road Safety in South Africa. More than 21,000 people have been arrested on our roads in the last year as a result of drinking and driving, and it has been shown that 50% of people who die on our roads are over the limit.

So how exactly do we define what the drinking and driving limit is? In South Africa, the legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1,000ml, or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100ml, a fact that should be burnt into every motorist’s memory. This begs the question: ‘what does this mean for me, and what specifically constitutes being over the limit?’

The rule of thumb is a maximum of one unit of alcohol per hour, which constitutes 10ml of pure alcohol, based on an adult weighing 68kg. Our bodies can process only one unit of alcohol each hour. However, it is important to be aware that if you weigh less than 68kg your body will need more time to process the same amount of alcohol.

What does one unit represent?

  • It is equal to two thirds of a beer or spirit cooler with 5% alcohol content.
  • For those who drink wine, 75ml of red or white wine per hour with an alcohol content of 12% to 14% is acceptable.
  • Whisky and brandy connoisseurs can drink up to one 25ml tot of alcohol per hour.

“In case you are wondering if there are any quick-fix solutions, drinking coffee to get sober is a myth, as is taking a cold shower or drinking a litre of water.” Says Athy from Eden Recovery Centre. Once the alcohol is in your system your liver is going to need time to process it, and restricting yourself to only one unit per hour will give your body the time it needs to stay sober in the eyes of the law.

Alcohol significantly slows reaction time and distorts your vision, and the effects of a heavy night of drinking could well affect your driving ability the next morning, and you may still even be over the legal limit. After only one unit of alcohol, your chances of being in an accident are doubled, and when you are at the legal limit of 0.24mg, you are four times more likely to be in an accident. At the end of the day, motorists need to ask if it’s really worth risking the consequences before drinking and driving.

If you are concerned that your alcohol consumption could be putting your life, as well as the lives of others at risk, please contact Eden Recovery Centre for advise on treatment plans. We are here to help you break free from the chains o.f addiction. You can depend of full discretion

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Traffic may drive you crazy or you may find yourself cursing your boss under your breath on a weekly basis. However Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation.

“Domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, screaming, or other temper tantrums may be signs of intermittent explosive disorder.” Says Athy from Eden Recovery Centre.

These intermittent, explosive outbursts cause you significant distress, negatively impact your relationships, work and school, and they can have legal and financial consequences.

Intermittent explosive disorder is a chronic disorder that can continue for years, although the severity of outbursts may decrease with age. Treatment involves medications and psychotherapy to help you control your aggressive impulses.

What are the symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

Intermittent Explosive Disorder (EXD) is characterized by recurrent, impulsive aggressive behaviour that is distinguished from both premeditated aggression as well as defensive aggression provoked by an immediate threat. Aggressive episodes may be preceded or accompanied by:

  • Rage
  • Irritability
  • Increased energy
  • Racing thoughts
  • Tingling
  • Tremors
  • Palpitations
  • Chest tightness

What causes Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

Patients with intermittent explosive disorder generally have a lifetime history of other psychiatric disorders; the most common are unipolar major depressive disorder, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, social phobia, specific phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Comorbid bipolar disorder may occur as well.

Intermittent explosive disorder may be associated with general medical disorders, including hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, arthritis, peptic ulcers, headaches, and chronic pain. The evaluation for intermittent explosive disorder includes a psychiatric and general medical history, mental status and physical examination, and focused laboratory tests.

Treatment and drugs:

There’s no one treatment that’s best for everyone with intermittent explosive disorder. Treatment generally includes talk therapy (psychotherapy) and medication.


Individual or group therapy sessions can be helpful. A commonly used type of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, helps people with intermittent explosive disorder:

  • Identify which situations or behaviors may trigger an aggressive response
  • Learn how to manage anger and control inappropriate responses using techniques such as relaxation training, thinking differently about situations (cognitive restructuring) and learning coping skills


Different types of drugs may help in the treatment of intermittent explosive disorder. These medications may include certain antidepressants (specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs), anticonvulsant mood stabilizers or other drugs if needed.

For more information on Intermittent Explosive Disorder, or further treatment plans, please feel free to contact Eden Recovery Centre. Or follow us on Facebook / Edenrehabcentre. You can depend on Full discretion. 

The legalization of marijuana in South Africa

Good or bad move for SA?

So whilst most thought of this as an April Fool’s joke, others shook their heads in disbelief as the news broke throughout SA. Marijuana legal? Are you serious?

The Western Cape High Court has ruled that it is an infringement to ban the use of dagga by adults in private homes and the ruling allows for the possession, cultivation and use of dagga at home. This ruling is to regulate access to medicinal cannabis for prescribed health conditions.

This means that medicinal marijuana will be prescribed for severer health conditions such as severe chronic pain, muscle spasms, cancer pain control, severe seizures resulting from epileptic conditions and various illnesses where alternative treatments have not had positive results.

Most of the reaction to the verdict has been positive with some hailing it as a step in the right direction – however others are warning it could prove to be a dangerous move for those who abuse it for the sake of a high.

Dr Shaquir Salduker from the psychiatry management group says the ruling could have adverse effects. We at Eden Recovery Centre specialize in cases and understand the negative effects marijuana can have on the body and mind from long-term abuse. Studies showing the damaging effects marijuana has on dopamine receptors and our brain’s reward system suggest marijuana could lead to the use of many other different drugs.

In one study done by the University of Michigan Medical School, researchers found a negative correlation between the amount of marijuana consumed over time and the amount of dopamine that was released in the brain in response. This study suggests a change in the reward system over time with a high-inducing drug like marijuana. This decrease in the amount of dopamine released creates a plateau effect. Smokers could possibly then seek other drugs in order to achieve the high they used to experience with pot.

But until the constitutional court confirms the ruling and refers it to the national assembly – the use of dagga is still illegal in terms of the country’s laws.

For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.